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discerning differences in a sentence

1. It has rudimentary eyes covered in skin, which are probably limited to discerning differences in light intensity.

2. Analysts have used the presence of various North Korean officials accompanying the leader on "on-the-spot guidance" visits as a way of discerning differences in the North Korean hierarchy and power structure under Kim Jong-il and Kim Jong-un. In this social network analysis, the rise and fall of individuals can be observed, and the relative power of different groups by age and affiliation (party organ versus government bureau versus military) can be seen.